Senate climate compromise wins praise from White House

A framework outlining compromise climate change legislation in the Senate won plaudits on Thursday from President Barack Obama.

Obama welcomed the outline of a compromise bill unveiled by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) as a positive step toward addressing climate change.

"Today, Senators Kerry, Lieberman and Graham took another significant step in the effort to pass comprehensive energy reform with the release of their legislative framework," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. "The president believes this is a positive development towards reaching a strong, unified and bipartisan agreement in the U.S. Senate."

The senators unveiled details of their plan on Thursday afternoon, which was crafted out of a perception that the current bill before the Senate, which was crafted by Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), was not politically viable.

The outline released Thursday, according to Reuters, would seek a 17 percent reduction in U.S. emissions in the short-term, a rate which matches what had passed the House, but falls beneath the 20 percent reduction initially sought in the Senate. The compromise legislation would pair reduction efforts with some expanded offshore drilling and increased federal support for nuclear power.

The compromise legislation comes at a critical juncture in the battle to address global warming, being released at the advent of a global summit in Copenhagen, Denmark to hash out an international framework to address climate change.

It also comes as skeptics of global warming argue that the science underpinning climate change was critically undermined after some researchers' internal emails showing disagreements on research were hacked and leaked online.

Gibbs said that the administration had begun its own strides toward addressing the issue, but that passing legislation would be essential to battling climate change.

"From robust domestic actions including historic investments in clean energy to sustained international engagement to encourage countries around the world to reduce their carbon emissions, the president has established a new energy foundation," Gibbs said. "The passage of comprehensive energy legislation is essential to that effort."

"The President looks forward to working with the Senate and signing comprehensive energy and climate legislation as soon as possible," the press secretary added.

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